The oddest political statement this weekend may have come from Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Sunday. He said he’s not entirely sure why white supremacists, neo-Nazis and other groups feel DJT is sympathetic to their cause, that “they believe they have a friend in Donald Trump.”
The mayor of Charlottesville, VA knows why: There is a “direct line” between how President Donald Trump’s campaign played on the nation’s “worst prejudices” and the rioting that ended in the deaths of three people in his city, plus lots of other violence, Mayor Mike Signer said Sunday. “Look at the campaign he ran,” Signer told Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I mean, look at the intentional courting, both on the one hand of all these white supremacists, white nationalists, a group like that, anti-Semitic groups, and then look on the other hand the repeated failure to step up, condemn, denounce, silence… put to bed all those different efforts, just like we saw [Saturday].”
Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke knows why: At the start of “Unite the Right” rally kicked off in Charlottesville, Virginia, Duke said the gathering of white supremacists, neo-Nazis and far-right individuals pointed to a future fulfillment of Trump’s “promises.” For instance, when he picked Steve Bannon, who had been executive chair of “Breitbart News, a far-right news, opinion, and commentary website,” to participate in his campaign and then become his White House chief strategist.
Graham urged the Donald to immediately condemn the hate groups. “They are enemies of freedom,” but DJT “missed an opportunity” in his comments Saturday to disavow any relationship with racist organizations.
Or as John Oliver coarsely put it, ‘Idiot’ Trump Managed To Screw Up Disavowing Nazis. “Nazis are a lot like cats. If they like you, it’s probably because you’re feeding them.” Yet, DJT was able to lash out at an African-American C.E.O. who quit an advisory panel over the response to Charlottesville.
Meanwhile, several Republicans, including Orrin Hatch, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and even First Daughter Ivanka Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence, had strongly denounced the white supremacists and their allies, as did the chancellor of Germany. The “evil attack” by a driver on a crowd of counterprotesters in Charlottesville was domestic terrorism, the attorney general said.
When the White House offered its weak tea rejection of the Nazis and their allies, Duke warned Trump, “Remember it was white Americans who put you in the presidency.” Trump did eventually recite something, too little and too late.
I understand that we need to talk to each other, but what does one say to someone at the rally so utterly oblivious to his xenophobia? These are people who fancy themselves the victims of the so-called politically correct assault on American democracy, “a false narrative that helped propel Mr. Trump to victory. Each feeds on the same demented lies about race and justice that corrupt true democracy and erode real liberty.”